Ford government to scrap Ontario licence plate renewals. Here’s what you need to know

Tina Yazdani reveals the details of a soon-to-be-released Ford government "Get It Done" act that will inhibit future government's ability to introduce carbon taxes. The premier also announcing changes to the Ontario licence plate renewal process.

Ontario’s government plans to eliminate licence plate registrations in the province and will implement an automatic renewal process for drivers.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Tuesday in response to a question from the Toronto Star, which reported this week that there are more than one million expired license plates on the roads.

The Ford government scrapped the annual licence plate sticker renewal fee in 2022, but up until now, drivers still had to renew.

CityNews has learned that licence plates will be automatically renewed if auto insurance​ is authorized and there are no outstanding fines or tolls. If there are outstanding tickets or fines, that person must pay them before the licence plate renewal process can begin.

When asked when the change could take effect, Premier Ford wouldn’t specify, only alluding that it would be “extremely soon.”

An official announcement is expected to be made later in the week, and it will be part of Bill 1, which will be tabled on Tuesday as the legislation resumes. Premier Ford says it will also include a measure that would require any future provincial carbon pricing plan to be put to a referendum.

Renewing a licence plate for passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds has been free of charge in the province, and drivers do not need a license plate sticker for these cars.

The cost to renew licence stickers was previously $60 in northern Ontario and $120 in southern Ontario.

Licence plate sticker fee refund cheques will be offered until March 13, 2024.

It was confirmed in November 2021 that the Ford government would remove paper renewal notices and transition to a more digitally-convenient process. This includes adjusting the renewal notification process for driver’s licences, plate stickers, and health cards.

In the summer of 2020, Premier Ford’s government scrapped a redesign of Ontario’s licence plates, returning to the old, white-and-blue “Yours to Discover” version.

The blue licence plates that the Progressive Conservative government rolled out at the time using the slogan “A Place to Grow” were pulled after they were widely denounced by local police officers and members of the public after people said the plates were impossible to read in the dark.

With files from Richard Southern of CityNews

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